Photo credit: Tyler Cipollone

Meet the Quonan: Tyler Cipollone

Quona Capital
4 min readApr 24, 2024


By Noha Durrani

From the suburbs of Rochester in upstate New York, Italian-American Tyler Cipollone has taken a rather unconventional path to get to where he is today at Quona.

Growing up in a close-knit family with an old-school Italian father, Tyler Cipollone was raised with an emphasis on the importance of education and two other “musts”: how to swim and how to defend himself. As a result, he is unlikely to drown (but funnily enough, Tyler never got too good at swimming). On the other hand, over the years, he has practiced and competed in many forms of combat sports.

His journey in combat sports began at the age of six, when he began learning the art of discipline in karate dojos. Later, some after-school programs evolved from grungy basement gym boxing to lower-level mixed martial arts, or “MMA” training.

After college, Tyler moved to Virginia and found his home in a Muay-Thai gym. It was there that his commitment to combat sports moved from just conveying toughness to competing seriously. By 2022, the hours of training and hard work were finally paying off — then came a regretful hand injury that resulted in him being unable to fight for the TCB Lightweight championship title.

Today Tyler lives in New Jersey, where he finds himself fighting again in the mixed martial arts world. “I don’t generally like to mention competing in mixed martial arts to people I don’t know well,” he says, “because it comes with a certain perception of a type of person that isn’t who I am.” But at the same time, with a gleaming smile, Tyler speaks on his inspirations in the sport — specifically Georges St. Pierre, a two-division champion sensation who was “a quiet kid, not the biggest,” says Tyler. “but someone worthy of admiration.”

Passion…and practicality

In parallel to his athletic interests, Tyler maintained success during high school and college across his studies in various subjects. He confesses that he was “a history nerd” who was also math savvy, though less passionate about math. As his high school years progressed, Tyler found his love for the sciences grew, especially physics. Typical of most people preparing to graduate high school and looking toward their next chapter, Tyler was unsure of what to do next and faced an all-too-common dilemma of what to study in college: Passion, or practicality? Which made more sense for his future, pursuing his passion in physics further at college, or trusting the security of his numerical abilities?

There’s no guessing which path he chose — given he is now the Senior Accountant at Quona — something he’s quick to say he went for “with no regrets.” He landed his first job after college at a public accounting firm, where he learned how to take work seriously and balance varying levels of stress to keep himself grounded. Being a quiet and reserved person, this time also taught him that his age was not a barrier to speaking up for himself. During one training session at the accounting firm, Tyler’s manager noted that “the quietest person is usually the dumbest person in the room.” The comment caught him off-guard, and made him feel he needed to assert that he was indeed learning, taking things in — and that his silence showed understanding, as he had nothing else to add.

Today, at 27, Tyler is the second-youngest employee at Quona Capital. He achieved his Certified Public Accountant designation while working full time at Quona, without having attended graduate school first, something he is very proud of. In Tyler’s day-to-day work, he is vital in Quona’s accounting operations and the reporting of finances to stakeholders. This varies but is not limited to collaborating closely across several teams: the fund administrators, tax, audit, compliance and investment teams. Tyler also crucially tracks the monthly and quarterly closing duties, communicates requests for documentation and financial information from portfolio companies and provides direct support to Quona’s head of finance, Maryna Higgins.

Maryna says, “Among the applicants we considered, Tyler stood out from the crowd as he was very strong technically. I also liked his direct communication style — which is very similar to mine, so I am biased — and we just connected from the first interview.”

“He also was very eager to advance and grow, and Quona offers many opportunities for that,” she says. “We both agreed at that time Quona has a long-term potential for Tyler. More than 3 years later, I believe that is still the case. Tyler is not just a CPA, he is a Muay-Thai competitive fighter — and he applies the same discipline and energy to tackling accounting problems, including getting his CPA. He is inspiring, and I love working with him.”

Four years on since joining Quona, Tyler is working towards taking the reins on higher value projects, so that he can add even more value to Quona. He is quick to note that joining Quona full time at such a young age — in an environment where everyone is committed to the company’s impact mission — has aided his personal and professional development. Working with Maryna Higgins, Quona’s head of finance, has had the most significant impact on him. He says, “Since I arrived at Quona, Maryna has been an incredibly positive influence on me with her work ethic, and I really see her as a great example.”

“As a small town guy who previously had a very limited view of the world, Quona has opened my eyes to a global perspective,” he says. “I appreciate the impact of Quona’s work globally, and as a result, I now think about things on a much broader scale with less of an “American-centric” view — I think that’s progress.”



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